Yes! Some stores, in fact, stimulate feelings of peace and contemplation, at least in me. When I cannot get away from the city and I don’t want to shop, or sit in a coffee shop and stare at my phone, which only makes me more anxious, I do dare tread into some shops that inspire peace in me, even contemplation. I feel as if they were some sort of sanctuary. These stores are almost always very quiet too, which helps to calm the spirit.
In my urban sanctuaries, I can spend hours alone in silent contemplation, forgetting the world around me, and my problems. I may purchase something, but it is always something small and worth the expense because of the calm and inspiration I get from having spent time in these quiet and low-key shops.
The reading sanctuary.
Independent bookstores are making a comeback and I am so happy about this! Normally, these bookstores are very quiet and cozy spaces with stools to sit and browse for unlimited periods of time. No clerk comes after you asking if you need help. You can stay as long as you want and may stumble upon books you would have never found otherwise.
You can touch, smell and become inspired with or without a purchase. I’ve found this to be the best hiding place in a busy city.
The writing sanctuary.
I came across this Japanese store that had all types of writing materials; pens, papers, notebooks, cards. I was in awe and spent the best of two hours trying out all sorts of pens and papers. Not only were they original specimens but beautiful. It made one want to start writing those long letters again. The place was peaceful with soft background music, where a few people like myself were, just browsing. I did shop, but again, it was all worth it. I came out inspired and balanced.
The art sanctuary.
There is an art store in San Francisco called FLAX and it’s heaven for those who enjoy creating art. It’s like a candy store. Once you immerse yourself in it, it’s hard to leave. A peaceful and quiet place where you feel inspired to indulge yourself and look for something that will allow you to create and express something which words can’t. It’s an exciting place to get lost and afterward come out cleansed and hopeful.
These are some of my urban sanctuaries. Which are yours when you can’t escape the city?